Labor & Employment

Ex-New York Associate Sues Clifford Chance, Alleges 'Blatant' Discrimination Against Blacks & Women

A former associate at Clifford Chance in New York hesitated to sue the firm. But after being unemployed for several years after she and five other U.S. associates of the London-based international megafirm were laid off, Karen Ramdhanie apparently felt she had no other choice.

Now 48, she alleges that the firm disproportionately assigned blacks and women to a group doing document review work related to Standard & Poor’s mortgage-backed securities, transferring two white male associates out of the S&P group just before the November layoffs, reports the New York Law Journal in an article reprinted in New York Lawyer (sub. req.).

“They were so blatant in their discrimination,” Ramdhanie tells the legal publication in an interview.

In addition to compensatory and punitive damages for alleged age, gender and race and national origin discrimination in violation of New York City’s Human Rights Law, her Manhattan state-court suit (PDF) seeks damages for emotional distress on behalf of her two sons, among other relief.

A spokesman for the law firm declined to comment, citing a policy against doing so concerning pending litigation.

Ramdhanie formerly worked at Skadden Arps Slate Meagher & Flom and UBS.

Hat tip: Legal Week.

Updated at 1:52 p.m. to include link to complaint.

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